From the title of this question alone, you can probably tell I am not an electrician. I am sorry for any use of inexact terminologies.

I am planning to install an induction cooktop as part of my kitchen remodelling project. The renovator said they will find a qualified electrician to install a new circuit for the cooktop.

As a home owner, I am keen to avoid any surprise. Therefor I want to know:

  1. Does this fuse box has enough free slot to accommodate another circuit?

  2. Is there anything I need to be aware of for induction cooktop related electrical work?

The job location is in Sydney, Australia.

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  • Off hand that box does not have the space for a new circuit. There seems to be another box to the side. For the electrical needs of the cooktop is just a big enough circuit to power it, usually similar of other household circuits. Think the cooking and type of pots is the bigger change.
    – crip659
    Sep 5, 2022 at 13:55

2 Answers 2


Thankfully, it's a circuit breaker box, not a fuse box. Fuse boxes are generally old and more hazardous.

It may have 2 free slots, depending on design details - there appear to be two blank covers. One between the main and the branch breakers, one to the right of the branch breakers. There also appears to be another entire box to the right that you are not showing more than the edge of, which may be interconnected to it and provide additional spaces.

You need to know (or rather, your electrician doing the work does) the required circuit size for the cooktop, how that differs from what it's replacing if it's replacing another electric cooker, and what path the cable will need to take to get to the cooktop location from the circuit breaker location. The overall capacity of your service and how much more you can add to it given the loads you have (amperage, not merely spaces) may also come into play.

  • Thank you very much for your answer! I am actually replacing a gas cooktop with an induction one. The electrician needs to lay a new cable I suppose. Also I do have another box. It is connected to a home battery and I was told it is the 'backup circuit': I am not supposed to add an induction cooktop to it. Sep 6, 2022 at 5:52

There are two separate issues.

  • Is there physical space for the added circuit breaker? It's hard to tell just looking at the cover of the equipment, but I agree with Ecnerwal that those look like blanking covers. You folks use "DIN Rail" breakers, which is just a standard rail the width of the panel... and any model breaker simply clips onto that DIN rail.* So the DIN rail almost certainly exists between the main breaker and the branch breakers. The downside of DIN rail is that both sides - supply and load - have to be physically wired to the breaker as actual wires (or often on the supply side, pre-made "combs".)
  • Does the electrical system have the reserve of power necessary to power the additional appliance? I can quote you chapter and verse of the North American Electrical Code, where we call that calculation a Load Calculation which is then compared to the service size being delivered by the utility. Not sure how it is handled down under, but it must surely be in similar vein.

* However, most 4-continent panels I see show all the breakers the same brand. So staying with brand seems to be popular.

  • 1
    The reason electricians stick to one brand is that the manufacturers will not rate their boxes as complying with safety standards if you add any other brand of breaker.
    – Simon B
    Sep 5, 2022 at 19:40
  • @SimonB Crazy. In North America, manufacturers can't exclude other manufacturer's stuff (Magnuson-Moss and equivalents) but the check & balance is that equipment must be approved by a 3rd party agency (UL, CSA, BSI, TUV) and used per instructions. They really don't fool around with that. So in a Siemens QP panel I can put an Eaton CL breaker (instructions say so), but not a Schneider HOM breaker (instructions don't). Sep 5, 2022 at 22:16
  • Thank you for a great answer. I learn something new. Sep 6, 2022 at 5:53

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